We interview local make-up artist, Kay Eaves.
Q – Tell us about your background – how did you become a make-up artist?
My Mum insisted I start looking after my skin at around eight years old saying “it’s never too early to start”. I remember her getting me my first lotions and potions early on. My interest in make-up and beauty followed suit. I mean, who didn’t love Barry M’s pigments hey?
From around age 10, I was bullied. I was an easy target because I lacked confidence, especially in my looks. I was a tomboy, with big frizzy hair and all the nasty comments really stuck with me throughout my teen years. I would never wish anyone to feel as low as I did, so the idea of helping people to look and feel great about themselves became something I wanted to do in some way, shape or form.
It was whilst working in the beauty retail sector that my love for beauty truly ignited. I became the in-store beauty, fragrance, and skincare specialist. I was asked to assist an international make-up artist at the NEC Clothes Show for the company, and my passion grew. I absolutely loved painting faces for the four days I was there. It was here that I decided, ‘this is what I want to be doing’. It took me another four years to actually take the plunge, but I eventually returned to college at age 30, retrained in make-up, hair and beauty, and I’ve never looked back.
I fell into weddings completely by accident if I’m honest. After finishing college, I really saw myself in the theatre or in T.V or film industry. I was obsessed with the gory special effects side of the business. My friends were always asking me to do their make-up for nights out which I loved, but never really imagined going into the beauty make-up or wedding industry until it happened. I had a couple of enquiries about bridal make-up and thought why not? After these two weddings, word of mouth spread and before I knew it, I had a diary full of weddings. I have now assisted hundreds of brides on their special days, and I'm truly blessed to have a career I adore.
Q – What packages do you offer couples?
I always offer a free pre-trial consultation first and foremost. This allows us to meet in person or via video/phone call and get to know each other. At these meetings, we discuss your requirements and go through your ideas to get a feel for one another. It helps make sure we are the perfect fit for each other and allows us to create magic together.
My bridal packages are inclusive of a trial for the bride-to-be, airbrush foundation and lashes for the bride and her party members on the day of the wedding. Skincare is so important to me, so each member of the bridal party will get a beautiful skin preparation treatment too. I use the award-winning Neal’s Yard Remedies products that are organic and cruelty-free.
Other services can be added to make your packages bespoke. These include treatments such as pre-wedding facials, spray tans, brow and lash treatments and Reiki sessions. I also provide touch-up services such as an after-ceremony touch-up, to make sure you are photo-ready. The Restyle service - if you're having a clothes change for the evening, I will stay to provide evening make-up for you. The guest service – I provide touch-up services for your guests, including adding a little extra glam for the evening.
Q – What should couples expect when booking your services?
The experience I offer is one that will stay with you long after the confetti settles and one which you will look back on and cherish in every photograph for years to come.
My clients are the most important thing, so I will work closely with you from the first point of contact to ensure your vision is brought to reality. I like to really get to know my clients.
On the wedding day, I make sure that the bridal preparations remain stress-free and as special as you are.
I pride myself in being a cruelty-free artist, choosing to only use products that are free of animal testing. My kit consists of brands that are Leaping Bunny and Peta certified, vegan, and organic.
My focus is on skin. I will work with you and help get your regime in check well in advance of the big day. In my opinion, less is more, so you can expect a flawless application that will enhance your best features without being heavy or caked on. Just natural, classic elegance that will leave you feeling amazing. It will give you confidence that will not only last the day, but a lifetime.
A hot topic right now is hygiene. With COVID-19 still rife, I want to assure that with me, you are in very safe and hygienic hands. I have always had a slight obsession with cleanliness, but it’s gone up a notch now. I have taken advantage of lockdown and completed medical grade sanitation courses for my own and my client’s peace of mind. My PPE is probably slightly over the top, but my clients deserve only the best and safest hygiene practices, and that is exactly what you will get.
Q – What's your favourite wedding that you've worked on and why?
This is a tough one, there have been so many highlights throughout the last eight years, but I think it has to be Sooz’s wedding back in 2017. It's where I first met one of my favourite industry colleagues, and who I'm now proud to call my friend. From the first contact, I knew Sooz was my ideal client. We clicked immediately and her morning was so relaxed and enjoyable, she was one of the most chilled brides ever! She introduced me to Claire (Hairstylist Worcester), and we instantly hit it off. We have since done so many weddings together and are the perfect team often doing trial sessions together at my home studio.
I can never thank Sooz and Steve enough for booking us both. Who’d have thought that at a client wedding, you could find one of your closest friends? And yes, Sooz, we give you full credit!
Q – How long before the wedding should couples book?
I will always recommend booking at least 12-18 months in advance. My diary tends to fill with peak dates from December-January the previous year. COVID-19 has changed this slightly over the past 12 months, however, with many peak dates now being booked with postponed weddings from 2020, availability is limited with many businesses. To avoid disappointment, the earlier you can get booked the better.
Q – What's your favourite part of the job?
That's easy, my clients! I love everything there is about the beauty and wedding industry of course, but my clients are why I continue to do what I do. I am a people person, and I love building relationships. I have many brides who I now class as friends which is why I love my job.
There is something so special about assisting a bride-to-be on the morning of her wedding. I get to share such high emotions with her and her bridal party, and very often you will find me blubbing up the corner when she emerges after getting dressed. Hearing all about the process and then seeing everything put together after months of planning is an incredible feeling and one, I will never tire of.
I also love helping ladies feel confident. Drawing from my past, I know only too well, how important it is to feel nervous about being the centre of attention for the wrong reasons. Being able to push clients past their hang-ups, helping them to embrace their features and bring out the best in them on such an important day leaves me feeling accomplished. It's why I get up in the morning, even when it's a 4am start.
Q – Do you have any top tips for couples looking for a make-up artist?
My top tip is to do your research. Check out an artist’s portfolio to see if their work resonates with what you are wanting to achieve. If you are after a glam make-up look for your day, it’s no good looking at a portfolio of work that is all-natural looks. Chances are, this is not what they are offering so move on. Pinterest or Instagram is a great place to start looking for your make-up artist. Those who post regularly will be updating their work consistently, and you can see from this, those who will be a perfect fit for you.
Always check reviews from previous clients. This will go a long way in finding out what their work is like from start to finish, including working under pressure, communication and timekeeping. I find the most reliable source of reviews is those that have to be written by the client themselves so Google, Trustpilot or Facebook. Also, ask friends and family. You cannot beat word of mouth.
Recommendations; they really are worth their weight in gold. Set yourself a budget on what you can spend on hair and make-up. This can really make a difference in who you can approach. If your budget is on the lower end of the scale, there’s no way you will be able to negotiate that luxury artist that charges 1k. Be realistic, there are so many talented artists who suit every budget out there, you just have to find the perfect match for you and your requirements.
Most of enjoy this stage of wedding prep, once it’s all over you miss it, believe me. Happy planning guys and gals!
To find out more about Kay, visit www.kaylouisemakeup.co.uk